Published on October 25, 2007
Patchadaporn Kongka-rian, 35, was fatally injured when her Indiana Log Ride collided with another boat due to a sudden drop in power. She succumbed to her injuries in hospital later the same day.
An autopsy said Patchadaporn had sustained broken ribs, bruised and torn lungs and intestines, as well as bleeding in the brain.
The accident took place while she was on the ride with her husband, Samphan Wong-anu, and her 10-year-old stepdaughter Supatra Wong-anu. Samphan escaped with slight injuries, but his daughter is still in hospital.
"It was the day my sister should have been happy," Patchadaporn's younger sister Wongduen Kongkarian said yesterday. With tears in her eyes, Wongduen explained that Patchadaporn had been preparing to celebrate her stepdaughter's 10th birthday.
"I never expected there to be a funeral instead of a birthday party," the victim's sister said at the Forensic Medicine Institute, where she collected Patchadaporn's body. The body will be taken to her hometown in Roi Et for funeral rites.
Wongduen said her father demanded that Siam Park pay an additional Bt600,000 in compensation. Wongduen was given Bt20,000 yesterday as initial financial assistance by the park's officials.
The Indiana Log Ride is closed and police are continuing their investigation into the accident. The authorities have also ordered safety checks at all amusement parks, since Patchadaporn's death is not the first casualty of this sort.
Amornphant Nakorn Siam Park chairman Chaiwat Luang-amornlert said he was greatly saddened by the accident and death. "We will take full responsibility for what has happened," he said. The company has operated the Siam Park for decades.
He said his company had already fulfilled Patchada-porn's wish to give Supatra a gold necklace for her birthday. "We will also pay for the girl's education until she obtains a bachelor's degree. After graduation, she can get a job at the park," Chaiwat said.
Supatra, currently being treated at the Nopparat Ratchathani Hospital, also got a teddy bear and a lifetime ticket to Siam Park for her birthday.
"I'm still scared, but now I have this ticket, I would love to return to Siam Park," the 10-year-old said, adding that she was very sad about her stepmother's death.
Police spokesman Lt-General Pongsapat Pong-charoen presented the birthday girl with a large cake as well. Supatra said she did not know exactly what had happened during the accident, because she had kept her eyes closed all the time her boat was plunging down.
"Then, I felt my mum's body on top of me," she said.
She still suffers from headaches, but doctors say her overall condition is improving satisfactorily. She will undergo another brain scan and, if the results are fine, will be discharged in the next few days.